The chill is in the air and that means I had to fire up the woodstove for the first time last week.  Of course it had been a couple of years since I had the flue cleaned so I called Mark at Ludeman’s and he came out and gave it the once over.  I’m glad he did and I would recommend that everyone do the same.  He was able to give it a good cleaning and replace the catalytic converter (to help keep the stove clean and reduce the amount of smoke) and now we are enjoying nice warm fires and keeping our heating bill down.  Check out this week’s story on wood stoves and fireplace inserts.  They will help you stay nice and warm this winter. 

We are just 2 weeks away from the last show for this season.  This year is our 3rd season and we have had a great time putting together new shows for you every week.  We will finish this season on the 26th of this month and then we will be taking a vacation until March 3rd of 2012.  you can still keep up on the Fusion crew by checking out past stories on the Fusion website, becoming a fan on Facebook and even signing up for the free online Garden Time magazine.  David and Robin will be contributing writers for the monthly magazine.

Portland Rescue Mission

During these holiday times when we are getting together with family and friends it is good to remember those who may not be as blessed as we are.  We visited the Shepard Door facility which is run by the Portland Rescue Mission (503-MISSION (647-7466)).  Brian Merrell joined Robin to fill her in on the Mission and what it does.  Most people think of the Mission as a building downtown that feeds the homeless, in fact, just a few weeks ago they had the ‘Meal to Remember’ at the Mission downtown.  This event was co-sponsored by Sysco, KOIN and a couple of local restaurants.  Over 400 guests were served and it was a special night for everyone.  But the Mission does more than feed the homeless.  The Shepard’s Door location is a women and children’s center that help women during their recovery from addiction.  It is one of the programs that will benefit from the ‘Good Hope Telethon’ this coming week on the 16th at 7:30pm.   KOIN is hosting the Telethon and your support provides meals, shelter and recovery care for people in need in the Portland area.  You can help by watching the telethon and making a donation or by going to the special website at www.PortlandRescueMission.org/KOIN and making a contribution there.   Their motto is ‘everything starts with a meal’.  Show your support for this great cause and make it a great holiday season for everyone!

Legacy Diabetic Recipe

The Pacific Northwest Diabetes Week kicks off on the 13th and we wanted to help bring awareness to the event with a recipe!  We stopped by the kitchens at Legacy Emanuel and Randall Children’s Hospital to chat with executive chef Brian Seto to get a wonderful Pumpkin Bavarian recipe that was tasty and especially made for diabetic patients.  They make 7 different patient diets and serve thousands of people every day and they make sure that all their offerings are healthy, nutritious and tasty.  The recipe was not sugar free, but had reduced sugar, fat, sodium and calories than a normal piece of pumpkin pie.  You can find the recipe here. While Chef Brian started to work on the recipe, Robin chatted with Julia Hanfling about diabetes in Oregon and how we can stay diabetes free in our lifestyle.  To avoid the long term problems of diabetes she recommended that we all get a good night sleep, stay active, eat a good healthy breakfast and eat lots of healthy vegetables.  Those are just the basic rules to follow and they will help you maintain a healthy lifestyle.      

To help everyone observe Diabetes Week everyone is invited to the Circle on the Court, a free diabetes health and wellness fair on the 13th.  There will also be a cooking demonstration on Tuesday night at Lloyd Center from 5:30 to 7:30 pm for a list of all the events for the week you can check out the Chris Dudley website Legacy also has a wonderful website with more information too.  Check it out and learn to live a healthier life!

Cleaning Stickers Off Your Doors

Our girls recently left for college and in the process of fixing up one of the rooms as a guest room we found the back of the door covered in stickers! This had us wondering if we could remove the sticker without damaging the door. Once again we found ourselves at Parr Lumber (503-531-7277) to talk to Chris about what to do. Stickers can be a problem because of the type of adhesive used on the sticker. Chris told us about 2 different products, Goof Off and Krud Kutter. The Goof Off is a stronger product and it could remove some of the paint off of the door. He recommended this product for the tougher jobs and for jobs where we were going to repaint. The Krud Kutter may require a little more elbow grease, but it is not as strong and there is less danger of damaging the paint. Once we got home we peeled off as much of the old stickers as we could and then applied the product. After a few minutes we started rubbing the adhesive and it came off. In a half an hour the whole job was done! If you have a job that seems too tough to handle, check in with our friends at Parr for tips to make that job easier.

Ludeman’s Fireplaces and Inserts

The weather is getting cold and you may be thinking of getting a fireplace or insert for your home.  To learn about these heating systems we stopped by Ludeman’s Fireplace and Patio (503-646-6409) to chat with Mark Ludeman.  Mark first answered the question that most people ask about fireplaces, ‘am I getting any heat from my fireplace’?  Most fireplaces will run from a -10 to a +10 in heating efficiency.  That means you may be getting little or no heat from your traditional fireplace.  If you use an ‘insert’ you will increase the efficiency from 70-80 percent.   An ‘insert’ is a metal box that captures the heat and reduces the draft that will pull heat from the house while sending that heat into the room.  These inserts can be put in just about any fireplace opening but may require some additional venting and piping.  Gas logs may be a great substitute for a natural log burning fire, but they are not as efficient as a regular insert, pellet or gas fireplace.  We then moved to the gas inserts and looked at those.  Gas inserts are very efficient and can sometimes heat an entire home.  They are usually enclosed and may contain a fan to circulate the heat from the fire.  You can even customize the look by including colored glass or decorative fronts.  If you are looking for a heat source during a black out, there are only 2 choices, wood inserts or gas.  Pellet stoves require power to operate the motor that pushes the pellets into the flame.  If you are looking for more information on fireplaces or inserts, or you would like to have yours cleaned for the season, contact the experts at Ludeman’s.     

Standard’s New Electronics

The holidays are here and that means electronics are at the top of everyone’s list.  If you follow the trends you know what is hot, but if you don’t you may wonder what products are popular in the market and which ones are just hype.  We stopped by Standard TV and Appliance (503-619-0500) to talk with Tony about which ones are the most popular with their customers.  Our first stop was the audio department.  Everyone has their favorite music on the phones or i-pods these days.  The problem is sharing that music with everyone at a function. The answer is the Sony Wi-fi network speaker.  This speaker system can sync to your phone or i-pod and can broadcast your tunes to everyone.  The speakers are portable and if you have an electrical plug you can have music.  If you want to cover the whole room, just sync more than one speaker to your phone and they will all play your music.  Pretty cool!

Next we moved to the visual!  We weren’t sure about the next item, was it a computer or a TV, and the answer is yes!  It is both.  This video system is a computer, slash TV that is hooked to the internet!  So if you want to watch TV you just choose that mode.  Want to surf the web, just select that!  Want to listen to music, select Pandora and you are good to go.  It is a Google TV.  Facebook, YouTube, Napster; they all are here!  

The final stop is the biggest TV on the market.  It is the 92 inch HD TV.  This monster is not just a TV, it is more like a wall!  The picture is incredible!  One of the benefits to this TV is the sound system.  It has a wireless subwoofer and 16 speakers that are designed to bounce around the room so you don’t need to add a whole audio system to the mix.  It was amazing!  David loved it!  

For all the greatest electronics, check out the coolest gadgets at Standard TV and Appliance. 

Newspaper Tips

The newspaper… all the news that’s fit to print, plus it is great for chores around the house too!  David and Robin took a few minutes to show us a couple that we learned.  First of all, since it is paper, you can use it for wrapping.  The comic section in the weekend edition is great for kids.  They get a colorful print that they can read after they unwrap their gift and you get to save a few cents on buying expensive wrapping paper.  Some of the other uses are tied to the absorbency of the paper itself.  Robin used it to absorb odors in an old lunch box.  You can also use it to absorb moisture and the smell in your old shoes too.  Fall is harvest time in your garden and the paper can help you there too.  If you have green tomatoes and you would like to have them ripen indoors, just wrap them in newspaper and set them on your counter.  They will ripen quicker and you will have tasty tomatoes in a couple of days.  One use that everyone has heard of is using newsprint to clean your windows.  Use your regular window cleaner or a weak solution of ammonia and water, and then wipe it off with the paper.  The newsprint will leave no lint or streaks!  Finally, David had a suggestion for the gardeners in the house.  Lay pieces of newsprint down in your garden and cover them with mulch.  The paper will act as a barrier for weeds and will eventually break down and be food for your plants.  There you go, breaking news on recycling your newspaper for chores around the house.


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November 18, 2011.